Behind the Last Millisecond

Measuring content efficiency and effectiveness

Those of you that attended Adobe’s Summit in 2013 will remember their topic around the concept of the last millisecond; the ability to deliver the right content at the moment that it’s most relevant. Since the Summit (and maybe before), agencies and consultancies across the world have been referencing this; promoting that companies should deliver “the right content, in the right place, at the right time.” Although it is a clichéd phrase in the marketing world, it is still accurate nonetheless. In a digital era, the expectation to be served dynamic content is encouraging impatience and advocating the path of least resistance, so giving consumers the information that they need in the format that they wish to consume it is becoming even more essential.

One of the key factors in delivering the ideal state for content is understanding who you will deliver this content to. The two worlds of customer segmentation and personalized experiences are becoming ever more intertwined with the integration of customer and behavioural data. With the emergence of DMPs combined with CRM systems, second- and third- party data and other innovative technologies, is allowing companies to better target and personalise their messaging with the most important value driver – context.

However, despite all the evolutions within technology, it’s still nearly impossible to measure and attribute everything, or get to a one-to-one scenario with content. We can get close, but it’s not quite there yet across all channels. As we drill down into segments within segments within further segments, the reality of what is entailed in delivering the optimal content for personalized experiences is becoming more apparent. Rarely are we talking about the challenges of sustainable and scalable content to be able to deliver these experiences, or the orchestration that is required to navigate these content experiences. Yet it’s as relevant as the messaging itself to consider how you’ll plan, execute, and scale dynamic content in an increasingly intuitive and immediate digital world. As your segments get smaller, the amount of content required begins to grow exponentially as the combinations and permutations of content packets start to accelerate. The ability to scale content production is as important as the data that sits behind personalisation.

So, how do we scale content production? Firstly, there is no magic sauce here. It’s about people and planning. Enabling personalised messaging (especially at a global scale) requires a number of different factors. This can include:

  1. Content Strategy: What content do we need?
  2. Process and Governance: How do we ensure integrity and consistency when delivering and measuring our content?
  3. Content Blueprint: What are the best practices and what should our operational guidelines look like? What should our content tagging strategy and taxonomy look like?
  4. Content/Editorial Calendars: How do you deliver content when it’s needed?
  5. Content at speed: When you can’t plan, how do you adapt?
  6. Content Measurement Framework: How do I measure content that encourages the right behaviours from my target audience?

Content has become more than just assets that are displayed or served to customers, it is the heart of the experience; acting as the grease between marketing, technology, and data.

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